I have just read a staggering report written by my colleagues Patrick D. Tyrell and William W. Beach for the Heritage Foundation´s Center for Data Analysis (I direct the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at Heritage.)[Snip] Ironically, Britain, through the tremendous determination of Iain Duncan Smith and his team at the Department of Work and Pensions, is starting to roll back the welfare state, precisely at the same time the current US administration is expanding it. The United States isn’t just gliding towards a continental European-style future of vast welfare systems, economic decline, and massive debts--it is accelerating towards it
Comments: Nice new project for Jim DeMint to sink his teeth into.
Mr. Gardiner has provided a superb article to give or send send to those who are just now beginning to realize that their pay checks have been gnawed at by giant rats and the rat catchers aren´t having much effect. We need a Pied Piper. Or something.
The bigger question isn´t answered: which programs are the problem? Social Security: we have known for decades that the baby boomers were a demographic anomaly. They are starting to reach Social Security age, so of course the proportion on Social Security is climbing.
SSI: The rate of autism has grown from 1 in 10,000 in the 1980´s to 1 in 88 today (CDC statistics). That is going to mean a lot more disabled people receiving SSI. If we want to reverse this, then we have to get serious about figuring out what is causing autism and how we can move the rate back to the 1 in 10,000 range.
SSDI: Those baby boomer demographics again. The most likely group to go on SSDI are those within 10 years of SSI age who are having health problems.
I recently had to visit my local Social Security office. I was amazed that the waiting room was filled with young people in their twenties and thirties. It was also hard to see anyone of normal weight, they all seemed morbidly obese. They were of various ethnic backgrounds equally, not one more than another. It was a real eye opener for me, worse than the first of the month wait in the grocery line behind food stamp recipients. This article is even scarier.
#2 The rate of autism has increased do to the fact that it has been changed to a catchall for all manner of social interaction problems. There´s money available for those classified as autistic. Not that the individual gets it, but the institutions to help them. Create a need where there wasn´t one before.
No country that is over 16 trillion dollars in debt can be called a superpower. Even if a majority of the country could be persuaded to stop the economic decline being brought on by the welfare system in this country, political and social inertia will not let us stop in time.
Well, I guess my question is what do you do with people who have nobody to help them and they truly are disabled? I believe there should be some sort of safety net. I have a friend in that position now (who worked hard since she was 16 until everything physically fell apart around age 40--she´s 50 now and all her earned money is gone except her car) and she can´t even get any help from the government at all. Sure, there are tons of people who are scamming the system who shouldn´t be on disability. And that makes it all insane. People who need and deserve it can´t get it and people who don´t need it but are manipulative get it. It makes me angry.
It seems like every time somebody come up with common sense answers and plans to solve our problem, the beloved media does nothing but scream and whine about how heartless and uncaring they are, then proceeds to crucify them in the court of public opinion. Sarah Palin ring a bell? Mitt Romney? Rush Limbaugh?
Some of the increase in autism is likely due to over-diagnosis, but that cannot account for all of it. When I did a research paper on music therapy in my first year of college I had never heard of autism. I can recall seeing maybe 2-3 autistic children while in my teens. Now, autism is on the rise.
Part of the rise is due to extremely premature babies who are surviving at much higher rates than before. My older son was born at 25 weeks gestation. He has Asperger´s syndrome (an autism variant). We met a mom whose child was right next to us in NICU. He is autistic.
Autism is not a catch-all like ADD or ADHD are. There is ´diagnosis creep´, but there are discrete thresholds that are required for diagnosis. Almost every kid I know with an autism diagnosis is actually autistic.
There is a reason that the Founders stipulated that spending bills in originate in the House (“the people’s house”). The reason is that the people provide the money government spends, and it is, therefore, the people who decide how it is to be spent.
The Founders likely never foresaw the time when half the population would be drawing from the treasury, rather than contributing to it.
Perhaps the time has come when their original idea is adjusted to today’s reality; to redefine the notion that those who contribute to the treasury should decide determine spending. Perhaps the national voter ID card we need is a copy our last year’s filed IRS 1040 form.
One brave woman in my home town drives to work through a neighborhood of young, able-bodied porch sitters. She opens her window and calls out, "I´m going to work now so that you can sit there all day." They then flip her off. This is not going anywhere good.
"Social Security: we have known for decades that the baby boomers were a demographic anomaly. They are starting to reach Social Security age, so of course the proportion on Social Security is climbing."
Yeah that "demographic anomaly" and their employers have been contributing 12% of the wages of all of those folks in FICA taxes for what, 40-50 years? And what has happened to it? It´s been spent by politicians. If I would have been allowed to invest the money at 5% that has been taken by the government for FICA taxes I would have about $600,000 in a retirement account. I don´t think that I will get that back out of SS. Yep, the "demographic anomaly" is going to be retiring, but they also have been the largest tax revenue base in American history for the government to squander...
I distinctly remember Sec. of State Madeleine Albright stating she was uncomfortable with the US being the world´s sole superpower. I remember because it shocked me much more than the routine shocks of the Clinton administration.
Therefore we can count the weakening of superpower status as a milestone reached among the goals of the Democratic Party, not a presidency ´´firmly stuck in denial´´ as Gardiner wrote.
What 23 said. But seriously, apart from the practical aspects of the issue, it´s absolutely immoral for the government and those who support it to burden future generations with this debt, and to make commitments that cannot possibly be kept.
So much for the mantle of moral superiority the left assumes. They are despicable hypocritical moral and intellectual bankrupts led by the same with the added quality of Obama suffering from an extreme clinical psychiatric disorder. Ole!
Above poster has it right - congress has used the ss funds as their personal piggy bank - plus fdr the creep, was one of the first to do so - the worst prez, even with carter, clinton and stupid obama likewise.
#18 There you go!! As a small business owner I paid BOTH sides of FICA taxes for thirty years. I paid, in cash, approximately $240,000 to FICA. If I live 20 years after I retire I will draw out approximately $432,000…..BUT…if the government had invested the $240,000 instead of spending it, the interest earned would have easily made up the difference. I had no option but to pay the FICA, now they can very well stand up to their end of the deal. It was the governments´ deal…forced upon me. Through the same thirty years, I managed to invest about the same amount as I paid into FICA. That account is well over $600,000. I could have retired a millionaire if the infernal government had just left me alone!
When it comes down to it, all that hand-wringing about Social Security and autism etc. is immaterial. The wealth isn´t there to support our humongous welfare state, and it never will be. We´ve been busy destroying ourselves over the last half-century, and the results are just now becoming visible.
America is turning into a two tier society - those on government support and those who aren´t. As the numbers on the dole grow, the Nation declines. This is now unstoppable for the foreseeable future. A Nation controlled by the lowest common denominator cannot succeed. However those who are thoughtful, motivated, hardworking and thrifty will succeed and thrive by tip toeing thru the liberal Democratic social wreakage cherry picking the best jobs, investments, neighborhoods, housing and schools.
With the range of qualifying disabilities growing so large, and with human nature being what it is, if they ever grant amnesty to the 20 million illegal aliens now here, you can safely bet that at least half of them will be on SSI before long. Once on SSI there is no reason for them to become anything other then liberal Democrat voters.
Do these statistics include Social Security? Because technically, that is not a handout for people who have paid in for many years. And their employers have contributed, too. The current rate is, I think, around 13%. And some people pay in and die before they ever get to access their benefits. It´s just gone.
If you are a drug user & seller, if you are an alchohol abuser, if you are a welfare mom with at least 4 or more kids, or ann illegal alien who can take money under the table, you can do ok with SSI. You can abuse the heck out of the system. If you are a person with a real, documented developmental disability, SSI does not work. It is a mass of red tape. I wish everyone on SSI had to go through the extreme scrutiny that a person with a true disability does. Disabiility is often a "state of mind" just sit and watch how many people who actually use wheelchairs get to park in a "wheelchair" parking space.
You know if we could move from ´doom´. My thinking is that changes might be ordered up. Like squeezing a toothpaste tube, you use the fore-finger and the thumb. So just for a few months, no one in charge, no one advising anything, if on our own we just do not partake in entertainment. No movies, dvds, no downlds. Let everything like that go. If we have to have taxes and fees and surcharges, and lesser jobs perhaps there is no money for those things. And then we shall see if H-wood picks up the phone and tells the Congress and the Obamanite Junta to back off. Other wise we just have an echo-chamber.The Junta orders us around. We are Peasants. I don´t want to be a peasant.
Let this horrendous reality sink in. Imagine, most of the people you see on the street, spending money, in good cars, so many of these people, too many of them, at least, are on the dole, are not working, have become dependent on commie big brother. Person to person confrontation is a start. Example, three working households could have a sign carrying protest in front of the house occupied by, The Takers, triple dippers, government retirees, welfare and food stamp recipients. There´s a whole world out there and one way to begin to deal with it is to personally expose these takers, just like you would expose a pedophile. And, not unlike that damn newspapter that exposed registered gun owners. As long as our moral system is crashing and registered gun owners are put on a public map, now is the time to put The Takers on all kinds of maps. Expose them for their cancerous ways.
Before long, we won´t have to worry about WHEN to act. The decision will be made for us when it all comes crashing down, banks, businesses, government, all of it. Those who are prepared will survive. Most of those 128 million will become casualties of their own incompetence or laziness. Staying in a big city will not be a good move during that time.
"Superpower" is hard to define. So the question can´t be answered.
Why is it hard to define? Because the US will remain able to fight some types of war well and other types not so well.
In fact we have been in that condition for decades. We succeed against convention military forces such as a national army or navy. Iraq wars showed that twice. And we greatly helped recently in the Libyan revolt.
But we usually fail to prevail politically afterwards. We did not with Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya. When we leave the conquered area soon reverts to what it was.
And new enemies may operate covertly, they have few distinct forces to attack. Al Qaeda for example.
For decades we have not been a Superpower in nation building or imposing democracy.
And we can only prevail against a large nation such as China or Russia in a nuclear war which would also severely damage us. We would not win a conventional war by invading them. We don´t have the right military for that. Or enough men.
So forget this Superpower nonsense. We don´t even understand the term. It implies we can prevail in any conflict.
I first though Social Security Disability would bankrupt the system in the early 1980´s when I found out many of my gay uncle´s younger friends had applied for and received disability funds because...(wait for it)..."Ah´m gay and Ah jus´ caint work in a straight world!" with a limp-wristed wave.
Then it was confirmed a few years later, when I realized that many of my immigrant neighbor´s first official act after being sworn in as a new citizen was to "sponsor" their parents and grandparents into my beloved country. At the time, I was under the mistaken idea that a "sponsor" would be legally required support those who were "sponsored."
When they went to the airport to pick up those elderly relatives, the first stop...on the way home from the airport...was the County office to apply for SSI, Medicare, Food Stamps and Section 8 Housing Assistance. Many of the "sponsorees" spent less than a week with family, then it was off to the Section 8 Senior Apartment, Food Stamps, medical care and cash payments all free to the "sponsors."
Let me help. We, too, used to have a real economy - like the Chinese are growing. Now we do not. Our root level economy has been outsourced for a large percentage of the population - who now make do with a crap service/retail/any kind of job economy. Like Walmart workers, even if they have a job, they must then be reliant on food stamps and other programs while the global owners take in huge returns.
Oh yeah, and our education has turned to crap and our policies are made to perpetuate the above situation from BOTH the Dem and the Republican sides.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services and the White House´s chief Obamacare cheerleader, was left ashen-faced during a photo-op on Tuesday when volunteers helping Floridians use healthcare.gov were faced with a website that didn´t work. While reporters trailed her during a tour of a Miami hospital, one noticed that the site was crashing. ´The screen says, "I’m sorry but the system is temporarily down,"´ CBS-TV4 reporter Brian Andrews told Sebelius, who could only mutter a surprised, ´Uh oh.´ The unlucky volunteer Obamacare ´navigator´ operating the laptop told Sebelius that her marquee website still displays that message a
Today’s Washington Post/ABC News poll is devastating reading for the White House. [Snip] Much of the disillusionment with the Obama presidency has been driven by mounting opposition to Obamacare, with 57 percent of Americans now against the government’s health care reforms, and 62 percent disapproving of the president’s handling of its rollout in recent weeks. As The Post notes, half of Americans now see Barack Obama as dishonest and untrustworthy: On three measures of leadership and empathy that have been tested repeatedly in Post-ABC polls, Obama now is underwater on all three for the first time.
The Norweigan army has announced it will feed soldiers a vegetarian diet once a week in an effort to cut down on ecologically unfriendly foods. ´Meatless Mondays´ have been introduced at one of the country´s main bases and will soon be rolled out to all units in a boycott of food whose production contributes heavily to global warming. With livestock farming accounting for almost 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, the army´s proposal has been welcomed by environmental groups. ´It´s a step to protect our climate. The idea is to serve food that´s respectful of the environment," a Norweigan
This Ukranian guard knocked his cap off during a solo salute in front of two presidents - but managed to save face with a quick reflex. The young man was saved blushes when he rescued his hat with a quick sword trick after his salute knocked the cap from his head. The guard was taking part in a ceremony in Kiev in front of the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who both smiled at the blunder. The incident happened during a state visit on Monday, and has since gone viral on YouTube.
The continuing presence of American troops after their planned withdrawal next year will prolong the war in Afghanistan, a senior political leader of one of the country´s key insurgency groups told the Telegraph on Wednesday. Dr Ghairat Baheer, an influential Afghan political figure and a senior leader of the Islamist group Hezbi Islami, was speaking on the eve of a Loya Jirga gathering of 2500 tribal leaders from throughout Afghanistan to decide whether to approve a Bilateral Security Agreement which will allow a continuing United States presence beyond 2014. Talks for the deal have provoked a row in the United
Traders in London were left scratching their heads on Wednesday morning when a rapid-fire 10-second spell of selling sent gold prices quoted on a Bloomberg monitor down suddenly by about $10 (£6) to trade near $1,260 an ounce. IG Markets commented that the fall came suddenly following a 2,000-contracts sell order hitting the market, but the incident shows how markets don´t always comply to the logic of traders reacting to big news events that are publicly disclosed and that we all know about. [Snip] Traders I spoke to in London this morning were themselves lost for an explanation over the
We might have hit the nadir of Barack Obama´s presidency--and it´s no coincidence that it should happen when his biggest initiative finally bears fruit. The latest CBS opinion poll says that his approval rating has sunk to its lowest point yet: just 37 percent. [Snip] The Republicans might be feeling pretty down in the dumps right now but at least they have the consolation of knowing that Obama´s down there with them. How did it all go wrong? Well, CBS throws out another figure that explains all: support for the Affordable Care Act has slumped to another historic low of
It is already America´s longest war, but a new draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal reveals plans for military forces to stay on indefinitely in Afghanistan--costing the taxpayer tens of billions. The wide ranging document, obtained by NBC News, outlines plans to stay on until 2024 ´and beyond´--maintaining bases in Afghanistan and paying to support and train hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces. Afghan officials hope that up to 15,000 American troops will remain in the country after the scheduled 2014 withdrawal date as the United States faces a never-ending war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the
Venezuelan MPs have granted President Nicolas Maduro yearlong decree powers that he says are essential to regulate the economy and stamp out corruption but adversaries view as a thinly veiled power grab. [Snip] Though winning the decree powers hands Mr Maduro a political victory in the runup to Dec. 8 municipal elections, he still faces a severely distorted economy with embarrassing product shortages and inflation surging to nearly 55 percent. "With this Enabling Law we are following an order by President Chavez," said Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly and a staunch supporter of Mr Maduro. "He told us
Iran´s Supreme Leader has warned his country will not step back "one iota" from its nuclear rights, as it resumes talks with world powers in Geneva. [Snip] President Barack Obama meanwhile urged US senators not to impose new sanctions on Iran to allow time for diplomacy. He was unsure if it would be possible to reach an interim agreement soon. "We don´t know if we´ll be able to close a deal with Iran this week or next week," he told a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) forum in Washington on Tuesday. Iran stresses that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes
President Barack Obama´s HealthCare.gov site is riddled with security flaws that put user data of millions of people at risk and it should be shut down until fixed, several technology experts warned lawmakers on Tuesday. [Snip] The website collects personal data such as names, birth dates, social security numbers, email addresses and other information that criminals could use for a variety of scams. In a rapid ´yes´ or ´no´ question-and-answer session during a Republican-sponsored hearing by the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee, Republican Representative Chris Collins of New York asked four experts about the security of the
The best time to take aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack is in the evening, a study shows. The painkillers are taken by millions of Britons to keep their blood thin and cut the risk of potentially deadly clots. And a major heart conference was told blood cells were least likely to bind dangerously together following a bedtime aspirin. In the study, 290 people were asked to take a low-dose aspirin every morning for three months, then before bedtime for three months. At the end of each period, they underwent tests on their blood pressure and platelets.
President Barack Obama told the Wall Street CEO Council Tuesday that his administration has "reined in spending" and "cut our deficits by more than half." "After years of trillion-dollar deficits we reined in spending, wound down two wars and began to change a tax code that I believe was too skewed towards the wealthiest among us at the expense of the middle class," said Obama. "And since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half. Add it all and businesses like yours have created 7.8 million new jobs over the past 44 months, we´ve gone farther
Negligence? Absolutely. Incompetence? The case can be made. But scandalous? To suggest that the White House has willfully engaged in the intentional misleading of the public and an outrageous dereliction of its responsibilities to enforce the laws passed by Congress has been a bridge too far. Until recently. New revelations are now forcing even the most reluctant of President Barack Obama’s critics to concede that the Affordable Care Act’s implementation has evolved into a scandal. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working, as the way it was supposed to,” Obama told reporters on November 14.
Barack Obama is the coolest president we’ve had since John F. Kennedy, at least according to conventional standards for such things. Obama has always been a brand as much as a politician, one that has been perceived as sleek, smart, and up to date. Then along came HealthCare.gov. Its failure to launch is a signal event in the long political battle over Obamacare and perhaps an inflection point in the president’s image. It’s hard to maintain a sense of truly being on the cutting edge of change when you can’t build a website. Obama’s cool was, in part, an artifact of world-class
MICHELLE OBAMA: I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was really little and then I wasn´t that great at math and science so I switched to law because my mother told me that I like to argue a lot. But I realized in high school and in college that you don´t have to exactly know, you´re kind of always discovering yourself. So I studied law, I went to law to school, but was pretty clear I just wanted to be a good student. I wanted to know how to read and write and communicate, be able to
In an interview on BET last night with Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama. "He’s got a little swag." The audience applauded. Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States "sings all the time." She continued, "Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing." She also praised her husband. "[H]e has got a good voice." Here´s a transcript of that exchange:
A downbeat President Barack Obama repeatedly asked his worried supporters Monday night to help resurrect his spirits, following weeks of political disasters and personal humiliations caused by the cascading collapse of Obamacare. The distracted president railed against opponents and at one point appeared to forget the number of people in the Obamacare system during the rambling quarter-hour address. “My main message is I’m going to need your help, your energy, your faith, your ability to reach out to neighbors, kids and friends [and] co-workers,” he told listeners to the Internet broadcast arranged by his grass-roots group, Organizing for Action. But his worried
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama says she won’t wear shorts on Air Force One again because the one time she did, it created “a huge stink.”(snip)Mrs. Obama was asked about her biggest fashion regret. She said she’s always happy with her outfits but that, quote, “sometimes I forget I’m the first lady and I’m running around in shorts.” She recalled her family’s first White House vacation, to the Grand Canyon in August 2009. Mrs. Obama said her wearing shorts getting off the plane “created a huge stink because people were like, ‘she’s wearing shorts getting off of Air Force One.’” She said her thought
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama conceded that he will have to "remarket" and "rebrand" Obamacare as public confidence in him and the healthcare law he championed has plummeted. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, Obama addressed the failures of the Obamacare rollout and said while he was confident that the healthcare model his administration built, which he claimed worked off of the "existing private insurance system," would succeed, the law would have to be rebranded. “We are going to have to obviously remarket and rebrand,” Obama said. “And that will be challenging in this political environment.” When he
Well folks, it looks like Arizona Senator John McCain will "be one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off.” According to the Arizona Republic, McCain is set to attend a glitzy fundraising for his 2016 campaign in New York City. Sen. John McCain has scheduled a December fundraiser in New York City, the surest sign yet that the veteran Arizona Republican is serious about possibly pursuing a sixth term in 2016. According to a copy of the invitation obtained Tuesday by The Arizona Republic, McCain is asking supporters to join him 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at the midtown St. Regis Hotel
President Barack Obama told a gathering of corporate executives Tuesday he´s confident that his model of health care will work in the end, but he said he´s going to have to "re-brand" it to sell it to a skeptical public. He didn´t use the word "Obamacare" once on Tuesday in talking about his health care law, but he mentioned the "Affordable Care Act" seven times. "So, look, I am confident that the model that we built, which works off of the existing private insurance system, is one that will succeed," Obama told the Wall Street Journal´s CEO Council Annual Meeting
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says everyone should stop talking so much about the 2016 presidential race, because doing so hurts President Obama, who´s only a year into his second term. "In this sense, I feel badly for President Obama. He just won a year ago, and everybody´s like, ´So, who´s next?´" Christie said Monday night at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "There is work to be done in this country. And as we shove him out the door, we minimize his ability to be an effective executive. And we shouldn´t do that." Even as he urged people to focus
The White House has admitted that it was wrong to promise that people would be able to their health care plans under Obamacare. "With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I’ve said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient," President Obama said